A 29-year old former Taiwanese Marine came home from an evening out with his very pregnant wife over the weekend, only to find a man inside his condominium, in the process of stealing about $1,300 worth of jewelry and other valuables. But what the ex-Marine did to defend himself and his wife could now cause his own life to come crumbling down — and has already cost the life of the 47-year-old criminal.
But was the ex-Marine justified in using deadly force? His lawyer, and apparently the Taiwanese public, says yes. But the police see things differently. They arrested Ho Bo-han on a charge of negligent homicide. The dad-to-be was released on about $1,600 bail — that’s $50,000 in New Taiwan dollars — and now faces a trial that could send him to prison for two years.
“He came at us and there was no way I was letting him get past me to my wife, my training just took over and I floored him and put him in a military hold,” Ho said. “Once I had him restrained I told her to call police, and I kept him pinned down. I didn’t want to kill him but there was no way I was letting him go with my wife and our unborn child to protect.”
Here’s what happened.
Ho Bo-han, who now works installing air conditioners, returned with his wife to their condo, according to Taipei police, where he found a 47-year-old known drug abuser, Chang Jun-chin, hiding in his bathroom. But Chang tried to get away. The two men fought for about two minutes, but the ex-Marine’s training kicked in, and Ho soon had Chang pressed against the wall of a shower stall.
Using a technique he learned in the military, Ho applied pressure to the man’s face and throat, in a moment caught in this shocking photograph.
By the time police arrived, Change was unconscious. When he reached a hospital, he was declared brain-dead. His family ordered him taken off life support shortly thereafter.
Surveillance footage later showed that Ho’s residence was not merely a target of opportunity for Chang. The burglar cased the place several times, and apparently observed Ho’s schedule. Police say he meant to get in and out before Ho and his wife came home, but they showed up earlier than planned.
An attorney for Ho Bo-han believes the ex-Marine may get off with probation, and under Taiwanese law he could reach a compensation settlement with family of the man he killed that could avoid a trial completely.
Should this former Marine face charges, or have to pay compensation at all? Do you think any amount of force is justified when a burglar enters a private home?